In my nearly five years of missing my daughter, I’ve gotten a ton of advice about how to grieve.
Of course I’ve heard the cliche things from people who have no idea what they’re talking about. The things that we have heard of being said to other loss moms that makes our eyes roll. That we vent about in our private Facebook groups. That we get mad about or sad about or even laugh about.
The “It’s time to move on, ” or “It’s not healthy.” The advice to do this or that. The stuff I normally listen to and nod, and then try to run away from the conversation as soon as possible. Or depending on my mood that day, slam down with an, “I disagree.”
Outsiders think they have all this babyloss stuff figured out.
Many people thing grief is a neat little timeline and that at the end, we’ve gone through this process and we’re done.
It could be for some of you.
Here’s the thing–it’s not just those ‘outsiders’ I’ve read advice from about how to grieve and remember. I’ve read more articles and had more talks with other loss moms than I can count. It’s awesome. I love relating.
But, we always won’t all relate. Even telling you to grieve at your own speed, or to do what you want is advice to ignore.
Maybe you’re a systematic person and you need to do things in certain steps. Maybe you want to reach out and get advice. Maybe you don’t.
No one is right. There is no textbook, handbook or way to do this.
I’ll continue to read articles about processing grief. Sometimes they might fit; sometimes they might not.
But, if I read an article from another loss mom talking about how we need to grieve away from our computers and modern technology, I might ignore it one day and relate to it another, nodding in agreement.
It’s okay if you don’t always relate to what other loss parents say and do. It’s okay if you do. It’s even alright if you find comfort listening to those infamous outsiders that say cliche things most loss moms hate.
I read an article just months ago from a loss mom on another site asking people to stop saying a certain phrase after a child died, explaining why most of “us” hate it. Many people agreed with her in the comments. I happen to be comforted by the phrase. No big deal though. Sometimes ‘we’re’ in the minority of our little community. Sometimes we do things a little differently, or a lot differently. Sometimes we find ourselves thinking a fellow loss parent is reading the thoughts in our brain because we relate so much.
Even ignore this article if it doesn’t fit. It sure is hard to write about ignoring people giving advice about grieving without giving advice. My entire article is a bit hypocritical. You don’t need permission from me or anyone else to do what you need to do.
If you’re wondering if your grief is normal or okay, it is. Anything goes, as long as you aren’t harming yourself or someone else. To me, that’s the only “rule” in this grief game. And I don’t mean hurting someone’s feelings because you backed out of going to their baby shower. Unless you are doing real emotional or physical harm to yourself or someone else, whatever you need to do is just fine.
But, you don’t need me to tell you that.
No one can give you instructions on how to grieve. Not even the people who have been through a similar loss.